13 January 2011
Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, with its iconic arch, painted a spectacular picture during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. More recently, the venue showed that it’s not just a one-sport wonder when the South African and Indian cricket teams met there in a Twenty20 international.
The decision to use the stadium resulted in the largest crowd yet at a cricket match in South Africa, with 48 000 turning up for the game on Sunday, which also served as a farewell to Proteas star Makhaya Ntini.
Many dignitaries were in attendance too, including President Jacob Zuma, who has suggested that an international cricket fixture should become an annual event at the stadium.
Received with open arms
His suggestion has been received with open arms by Cricket South Africa (CSA). On Wednesday, CSA CEO Gerald Majola said Zuma’s call for an annual event at the stadium was an excellent one.
“First up, CSA would like to thank both President Zuma and the public for making Sunday’s match at Moses Mabhida Stadium such a spectacular success, heralding a new era for South African cricket and adding much value to the nation’s tourism profile,” Majola said.
He noted that CSA’s home international tours were governed by the International Cricket Council’s future tours programme.
“Therefore, we [CSA] would have to have a close look at how we can repeat Sunday’s experience as an extra tour match in the future.
“We would also need the ICC’s permission to hold an extra match with international status, as happened for Sunday’s contest between South Africa and India.”
The Department of Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund Agency would also have to join forces with CSA to make the event an annual one.
“The event was such a resounding success that CSA is confident it can persuade all stakeholders to consider President Zuma’s suggestion most favourably,” Majola said.